Issue n°54

Opening, Horacio GONZALEZ

Moral chronical: Exit Roth, Eric DUBREUCQ

Philip Roth died on May 22, 2018, he was 85 years old. He leaves a considerable work to which I want to try to pay tribute, first, by underlining its scandalous character. Roth was accused of anti-Semitism, pornography and misogyny, and for these reasons, vilified in the public space. This may be explained by the fact that his books are full of provocations, and that they try to paint human experience, sometimes in its greatness and often in its littleness. According to Roth, literature has no moral lesson to give, nor to receive, because its function is not to express any ideal of purity or goodness, but to describe reality with the help of some literary means, to keep it at bay using mockery and ridicule, and reveal its darkest aspects.

Notion: Self-management, Valentin Schaepelynck and Engin SUSTAM

This paper focuses on the political and theorical dimensions of self-management, and more specifically on the side of the pedagogy.


Presentation, Patrice VERMEREN

Victor Cousin and the instrumentalization of the history of philosophy, Lucie REY

This paper aims to question French philosophy’s relationship with its own history in the XIXth century and as a political matter. Indeed, after the French Revolution, the interpretation of the history of philosophy is subordinated to major political issues. Philosophical traditions of the past are used as arguments by contemporary authors to legitimate their own doctrines. This thesis could be defended about several philosophers of the time, but this paper deliberately focuses on Victor Cousin, for the decisive influence he has exercised, having assumed the highest responsibilities at a key moment in the French institution of philosophy teaching.

Victor Cousin, philosophy and its history, Pierre-François MOREAU

The French University has a specific manner of practising philosophy, both in theoretical research and in school exercises: one must develop a personal position through an examination of the history of philosophy. Victor Cousin was the founder of this national tradition; it was part of his strategy to elaborate an eclectic philosophy in service of the State, but independent from the Church.

Georges Canguilhem and philosophy professors, Patrice VERMEREN

What does it mean to teach philosophy in France, particularly after the Second World War, which has emphasized Hegel as a reference that cannot be ignored because he raised the problem of the meaning of history, and because it is a time when humanism, marxism and existentialism were much discussed? Georges Canguilhem’s answer to that question, at first, was that the practice of professor, of teaching, particularly in grammar schools, allows the students to improve autonomy of judgment and thought. Secondly, since philosophy consists in critical examination and selection of values, dealing with man’s behaviors, its passing on, it also involves the reading of philosophical texts. But without turning this exercise into a cemetery of doctrines and with the purpose of encouraging the meeting of two.

For a new teaching of philosophy. François Châtelet’s Professors’ philosophy (La philosophie des professeurs), Nathalie PÉRIN

To return to The professors’ philosophy, by François Châtelet, is to look at a book that asked in his time (1970) a question that J. Derrida and the Greph would also encounter a few years later about the place and function of the teaching of philosophy in the French educational institution. F. Châtelet thus appears as an original thinker when it comes to questioning the institutionalization of philosophy. His criticism of the renewed defense of this teaching and, more broadly, of philosophical transmission will not weaken (as in the very work of the philosopher). The singularity of this work, which is part of the critical legacy of thinkers such as P. Nizan, G. Politzer or J.-F. Revel, will not endorse lamentation or reaction, but will seek the problematic paths of a true defense and affirmation of philosophy within educational institutions. Freeing philosophy from ideology, as it appears through the programs and textbooks that support it, will be part of a renewed defense of this kind of taught thought. Philosophy would no longer form to common opinions, would no longer be the spiritual replacement of religion in the state formation of the citizen. But, by taking itself as the very object of its own criticism, philosophy would more than ever seek to discourage stupidity.

The Reform of the University and philosophy: Presentation of José Ingenieros’ text, L’Université de l’avenir (1916), Susana VILLAVICENCIO and Patrice VERMEREN

The University of the future, according to José Ingenieros in 1916, has to reacquire the unity of spirit it has lost because of its failure to adapt to its time and environment. It has to pass on general knowledge to all students, which will in turn benefit to all of society. It should aim to represent the whole society’s ideology; particularly the sciences, which are technics of social economy, and philosophy, which is a process of unification of general ideas, in order to open the horizon of human experience.

L’université de l’avenir  [1918], José INGENIEROS

Positivism and antipositivism in Latin American University Reform: José Ingenieros and José Vasconcelos, Rodrigo DIAZ MALDONADO

This essay explores the relationship between José Ingenieros’ positivist thought and the University Reform initiated in Córdoba in 1918. In order to do so, the first part analyses some of Ingenieros’ most important texts and compares them with ideas contained in the Manifiesto liminar, a famous document that synthesises the ideals of the young reformers. The common thread is the notion of mediocrity, one of the axes of Ingenieros’ metaphysics and a cornerstone of the Manifiesto. Next, in the second part, the Mexican University Reform of the early XXth century is presented, especially the antipositivist views of José Vasconcelos who was its intellectual leader. Finally, the last part presents a brief exploration of the intellectual continuities and discontinuities between both authors.

From reformism to revolution (1945-1973): thinking after the Argentinian University Reform of 1918 according to Arturo Andrés Roig, Luis GONZALO FERREYRA

We shall here address the intellectual figure of the seminal Argentinian philosopher and historian of ideas Arturo Andrés Roig. To do so, we shall use Roig’s own philosophy and pedagogical practice to propose a reflection about the heritage of the Argentinian University Reform of 1918, which is comparable in importance to the French events of May 68 in the university milieu. What can we learn about our actual university context from a historical, philosophical and pedagogical perspective when looking at Arturo Andrés Roig’s spirit and “reformist identity”?

Study: Learned libertinism and the formation of Man: the paradoxical character of François de La Mothe Le Vayer, Nathanaelle DUPUIS

François de La Mothe Le Vayer, a learned libertine of the 17th century was the King Louis XIV’s private tutor. Reading attentively Le Vayer’s works reveals, beyond his large culture of the Ancients, a critical thinking relevant to our present time. First, with the implementation of “economic governance”, which is a distinctive feature of the way the Ancients ruled, we will point at the way François de La Mothe Le Vayer brings a kind of enlightened despotism, a secularized way of governing, to the foreground of politics, by separating pastoral governance and royal power. Secondly, the libertine view of education establishes a break: education as emancipation. By putting the education of the self into practice, our libertine highlights another vision of the education of the self, separate from institutional forms and from educational conversion.

Study: Rousseau’s presence in Pestalozzi’s educational thought, Andrea POTESTIO

This essay focuses on the presence of some aspects of Rousseau’s educational theories in Pestalozzi’s writings, especially his early ones. It is somewhat restrictive to consider Pestalozzi as an educator who attempted to apply, in concrete educational situations, Rousseau’s natural education, because there are significant elements of discontinuity in the pedagogy of the two authors.